Where Will They Fall? Ranking the American Men’s Medal Hopes for the World Champs

Ryan Lochte by Patrick Kraemer

A specially designed ranking system looks at which American men stand the best chance of earning medals at this summer’s World Championships.

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A specially designed ranking system looks at which American men stand the best chance of earning medals at this summer’s World Championships.



Very unusual that the US has no guests of honor, although given the recent performances by the team, I completely agree.

Relays should be added to this list. I think the Americans have a great chance to win the 4×100 medley relay. Not sure about the other two relays though.


Also I think it’s ridiculous that Cordes didn’t qualify for the 100. He had the fastest American performance in 2014… I guess rules are rules though, but I fully expect the US to put Cordes on the relay, since a 58-mid split will be vital against Great Britain and Australia.


Great summary, the US always seems to have 1 or 2 swimmer with the ability to step up. Watch out world!!!!! Not close enough the the US teams to know who will be able to do that.


@M.T.Bottle.. probably the only guests of Honor in the world now is Peaty on 50/100 breast and Ledecky on 400/800/1500.. Sjostrom in 50 fly if she swims it.. Not sure If I add Le clos 200 fly here or not..

John Lohn

Relays will be done at a later date, after the women’s version runs.


Rafael, I think Sjostrom in the 100 fly would also be guests of honor, agree with your other picks.


Mr Lohn: I’m a lifelong US swimming fan, and just 2 days ago I went through this list myself and rated everybody’s medal chances. Despite admitted bias and forced optimism, I think you were actually a little more generous than me overall! Thanks for more of the fair-minded journalism I’ve come to expect on this website! You made my night! 🙂


@Danjohnrob.. I´ve already had mine made a few days ago (not US.. but overall medals who would be on the mix) what were your bets?


@Rafael: I did my “rating” just like this, deciding who I expected to medal, who I expected to final, and who to reach the semi. I didn’t actually list gold, silver and bronze for each event yet. There were a couple of guys I rated slightly higher, but more I rated slightly lower.

Generally speaking, as Mr Lohn said, our best chances for individual gold are Grevers 100 back and Lochte 200 IM, with Clary 200 back and Adrian 100 free having outside chances and a bunch of others hopefully fighting for a podium placement and coming close as often as they succeed. I think we’ll be competitive enough in most races to keep the meet exciting, which is what I care about most!

Kevin B

It is so hard to tell this year how the US is going to perform since the trials were such a long time ago. But I am going to predict that this will be the worst world championships for the US men ever. They will save face with some medals in the relays, but in individual events, this is not going look pretty.


Great article Craig [by John, anon, but thanks]. ^Kevin, B, tbh I think it’s super hard for any country to have many Guest of Honours or Special Honourees. I still expect them to comfortably finish on top with 8-10 Golds

Looking at the competition, some countries may have some stars in some events (Peaty/Hagino/Yang/Sjostrom/Heemsberk) but they’re unlikely to compete overall. For example, looking at the Australian team, I would put:

Guest of honours
Womens 4x100m freestyle relay (barring DQ, as much as a lock in as Ledecky’s 1500m)
Mixed 4x100m freestyle relay (Campbell/Campbell/Magnussen/McEvoy should win)

Special Honourees – can win gold
Cate Campbell 100m freestyle (still overwhelming favourite, but I guess Heemskerk could challenge).
Cate Campbell 50m freestyle (with Halsall)
Emily Seebohm 100m backstroke (really depends on Missy Franklin)
Mack Horton 400m freestyle (vs. Sun Yang)
Mack Horton 800m freestyle (vs. Yang/Paltrinieri)
James Magnussen 100m freestyle
Mens 4x100m freestyle relay (only if they all fire)

Special Honourees – will prob medal but it won’t be gold
Womens 4x100m medley relay
Womens 4x200m freestyle relay
Mixed 4x100m medley relay
Mens 4x200m freestyle relay
Mack Horton – 1500m freestyle
Madeleine Groves – 200m butterfly
Emily Seebohm – 200m backstroke

On the dais – with a decent chance of medalling
Bronte Campbell – 50/100m freestyle
Madison Wilson – 100m backstroke
Mitch Larkin – 100m backstroke
Cameron McEvoy – 100/200m freestyle
Emily Seebohm – 50m backstroke

On the dais but unlikely to medal
Mitch Larkin – 200m backstroke
Emma McKeon – 200m freestyle
David McKeon – 200/400m freestyle
Thomas Fraser-Holmes – 200/400m IM
Emma McKeon – 100m butterfly



that’s quite an optimistic prediction of the australian team.

And yeah, with increasingly greater parity, it’s getting harder and harder for the USA to assert their dominance. But thanks to Ledecky and Missy, it will be a slam dunk for continued domination.

In general, I think USA men will be doing a bit better than what have been predicted. It’s just borderline impossible to make assessment since there’s no trials.


aswimfan? how is it super optimistic?
i think they’re guaranteed 2 gold and will prob pick up another 2 (maybe campbell in 100m free and horton in 400m)

usa will comfortably finish on top with ledecky taking out 400/800/1500, miss franklin prob taking out 200free/100back/200back, and then win the W4x200m relay, and 2-3 of the medley relays – and maybe grevers/lochte will get 1


As a general rule, the US usually performs slightly better than they look on paper, and Australia a fair bit worse.
As an Australian that brings me no joy.


I fully hope that Australia will win the 4x200m freestyle relay, with a team with Mac Horton replacing Cameron McEvoy: David McKeon, Grant Hackett, Mac Horton, and Thomas Fraser Holmes. I also hope that Japan will end being second in the race. Finally I think I would be ecstatic if Japan were to finally win the 4x100m medley relay race, with Australia and England second and third, respectively.


Does anybody know where the mixed relays are placed in the event schedule?


@for33 I would betmore on England winning the 4×100 medley…

But, for the races already presented.. I would pick for medals contenders the guys below (won´t bet on color)

50 free: Cielo, Manadou and Fratus. Orsi and Morozov might surprise.
100 free: Fierce battlewith Magnussen, Adrian, Mcevoy, Morozov and Zetao. Guys like Verschuren, Feigen, Santana might surprise.
200 free: Medals will be between Biedermann, Sun, Hagino, Agnel, Stejpanovic and Verschuren.. Biedermann Agnel and Sun ahead.
400 free: Sun, Horton Cochrane and Mckeon ahead to fight.
800 free: Detti, Paltrinieri, Cochrane Sun and Horton fighting for 3 medals..Italians a little ahead
1500 free: Sun, Paltrinieri Horton and Cochrane
50 fly: Cielo, Santos, Manadou. Proud and Tsurkin might surprise
100 fly: Le Clos, Shields and Czerniak
200 fly: Le Clos, Seto and deDeus.
50 Breast: Peaty, Vdb and França are too far ahead of the field.
100 Breast: Peaty is certain, other medals may come from Vdb, Murdoch, França and Titenius.
200 Breast: Gyurta, Koch and Murdoch if he swims it. Balandin and Koseki might surprise
50 back: Koga, Lacour, Morozov and Manadou fighting.
100 back: Battle with Greevers, Hebborn, Irie and Xu.
200 Back: Irie ahead, then Clary, Xu, Murpyh and Larkin. Maybe Kawecki
200 IM: Locthe, Hagino then Seto and Pereira for Bronze.
400 IM: Hagino, Pereira, Seto a little ahead, Clary and Kalizs on the mix also. Wang Shun might also surprise. A 4:08 will be needed.
http://www.fina.org/H2O/docs/events/kazan2015/03082014_schedule.pdf – The Schedule


@Rafael, Thank you! 🙂

Craig Lord

Rafael, a list that is effectively what’s been covered – just not putting medals to the names – which I won’t be doing 🙂


Manaudou is not swimming the 50 Back, he has been beaten by Stravius at French nationals…but Stravius is a medal contender too!



Do you know for sure Manaudou will not swim 50 back in Kazan?
So which other French swimmer will swim 50 back apart from Stravius if not Manaudou?


I feel stupid after asking the above question. Lacourt of course.

Bad Anon

Lol Aswimfan !


Being non-Olympic events; it will be interesting just how seriously the bigger nations will approach the medley relays given the heavy schedules of many of their “guns”. In some cases, the “second options” will still see strong line-ups whereas others have zero fall-back options.

With this (and the non-Olympic status of 50m form strokes/M800/W1500); I tend to “excise” these events from medal calculations especially when taking a view towards Rio.


@Roy a fixed line up on mixed medley would only favor some countries while destroying the chance of others if they take the race seriously.


@Rafael: I agree completely, but it does seem like having a really fast male breaststroker is the key to winning this race!


My surprise packets for the worlds are young Aussie sprinters Kyle Chalmers and Emma McKeon. Would also have McEvoy ahead of Magnussen. Has beaten him last two times they raced the 100m.


@for33. Horton replacing McEvoy? Horton is not ranked in the world top 20 in 200m.(accord to SwimVortex rankings). The Aussies should be favorites in this event with five swimmers in the world top 15. McEvoy, McKeon, Fraser- Holmes, Hackett and Daniel Smith.

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